The art of weaving in Cortale (CZ) has always been present: Women of Cortale wore shawls made of linen, cotton and silk with very unique designs and colours (derived from natural dyes) and easily recognizable, such as those striped used up to the 900.
The famous German linguist and anthropologist Gerhard Rohlfs depicted in 1924 the women of ancient Cortale using their traditional costume when going out with their “fuso” and “filatoio”.
Cortale itself until the end of the 800 was part of the so-called “triangle of silk” (Cortale, Borgia, San Floro) a territory of large-scale production of linen and silk fabrics of high quality which supplied the great and famous Catanzaro silk industry which origins can be traced back as the year 1000, reaching its peak in year 1600 to then gradually decline two centuries later. From here the prevalence of Mulberry (Morus alba and Morus nigra) which fed the silkworms (Bombyx mori).
The silkworm production was a family activity: everyone in the family household bred worms on frames and to then provide cocoons (white or yellow) from which the precious strands where extracted using techniques now extinct.
But in Cortale the couple Marianna and Nicola Procopio and a women’s association carry the ancient tradition of producing silkworms for the following 10 years from which rare and precious artefacts such blankets, pillowcases, tablecloths, towels, pillows, shopping bags, lampshades, shawls, scarves, bags and confectioneries cases were made of silk. Unique and valuable productions all different from one another produced 100% by hand using the old frame for which it can be considered true art and design .
An activity that went from the silkworm to the silk itself and which has been passed down from generation to generation becoming a unique Italian feature, and so, the “Cortale Silk” is unable to carry the De.Co. label.